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New Testament Interpretation IX

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Question #1: 

Dear Professor

I wonder if the weather is staying balmy for you, or are you getting a bit of that cold air stream?

From the scripture reference (Isaiah 56:3-8) it seems that the Sabbath will be kept during the Millennium? My Pharisee friend (since childhood) is quite adamant the Sabbath Day observance is still in force today. I am thinking, if I quoted this scripture reference to him, it would give him further basis for reaffirming his position. The words are twice repeated in the blue scripture quote “hold(s) fast to my covenant”.

Apart from a the odd day of around 40C, the weather is quite good for this time of year. No rain to speak of. Personally I am finding it quite heavy going at the moment. Problems with my back and shoulders. Had been physically working without exercising. Marriage and family is quite a test at this time.

On another subject somewhat related to Tribulation. (Apologies if I have previously somewhat related this). I always felt revulsion at the description of the trials, mocking and shocking beating of our Lord prior to Him paying the price for our transgressions. Some might ask: Was not the price paid in full in His body in the darkness of the cross? Why then, the shocking prior treatment? Was it to demonstrate to us, His infinite sacrifice, in an eternally unforgettable submission for our salvation? I think that a human being could not take that bodily torture and live. I think, that, knowing that the shocking torture did not redeem us, then we can never fully understand the darkness He endured alone; which did redeem us.

Glory, Honour and Praise are His forever.

I always pray for your gracious ministry that we, the Lord’s sheep can all benefit from your devotion to the truth. Thank you so much.

In our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Your student

Response #1:  

Good to hear from you, my friend. Indeed, we got the day off today! Given that I'm still under the weather with this flu/cold, it was a double blessing for which I'm very grateful. Tomorrow isn't supposed to be quite so frigid.

There will be a number of rituals from the Law reinstituted or slightly modified during the Millennium, but as memorials to the cross rather than as prefigurings of the cross. As to the Sabbath, the details are not given, but there does seem to be worship in Jerusalem on the Sabbath (the passages you quote). Today, of course, we do still have a "Sabbath", that is, the moment by moment faith-rest we are supposed to be preserving in our hearts as we walk constantly with the Lord (Heb.4:9-11; and see the link).

You certainly have your hands full, my friend! It's commendable that you are maintaining some forward progress as well as keeping your eyes on the Lord in spite of the pressure. That is never easy to do, so good for you!

I am also no fan of trouble, and as a result not at all looking forward to times ahead. But as you witness, the Lord is faithful and has already made provision for us, for whatever we need, to get through however He means to bring us through.

Very good points about the suffering of our Lord prior to the darkness and the judgment of all our sins in His body. What He suffered is, as Isaiah prophesied (Is.53:1ff.), beyond anything anyone else had ever faced or will. It would have destroyed anyone else, many times over, emotionally as well as physically. And you are right: this "foretaste" was for OUR benefit. It did not take away a single sin. His death for one sin greatly exceeded all of this physical and emotional suffering to an unknown by us degree. But the latter does serve to give us some small idea of the magnitude of what it was going to take to pay in the darkness for the sins of the entire world. Such is His love!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers, my friend. Thank you so much for yours!

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #2: 

Dear Teacher

Amen, Sir, and thank you for your constant prayers for me and my fiancée and for our hopes and our families.

I don't know how I could possibly do as well as you, Sir, much less better. But I am very happy to learn from your communications with him. I will also stay available to him. I consider it a privilege to be able to help him at all and would be very happy to build a friendship with him.

Your student in the Lord

Response #2: 

Have you been in touch with our new friend then?

Your files are first rate! I've posted them to your page at Ichthys. The only issue I have, something I want you to think about, is the one about our Lord as God pouring out His "eternal" life. It is true that our Lord "died for our sin" and that He has eternal life in Him and as God is eternal life; and it is true that He "bore our sin in His own body" on the cross. But I'm not sure about "pouring out life" except metaphorically (for intensity of death), and also unsure about "eternal" life being poured out, particularly by God. Do you have some scriptures in mind for this? But it is an excellent job, my friend! The Spirit has given you some wonderful insights and I was blessed by reading this.

As to the translation you ask about, I agree with your analysis completely; here is the one I have posted:

(7) Surely, no one can redeem a man['s life from God's hand], no one can pay a ransom to God for him. (8) For the redemption price of a life is too precious for Him to relent forever, (9) that one should live on forever, and not see corruption. (10) For everyone sees that [even] the wise die. They [too] perish along with fools and those who lack common sense, and they leave their wealth behind to others.
Psalm 49:7-10

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #3: 

Dear Teacher

Oh, yes, Sir, I have. I forwarded our exchange to you three days ago. I assumed that you got it. I'll do so again right now in case you didn't.

I was going to ask you about that part about His eternal life. It was mostly inference. I considered that the reason that only the Lord Jesus could pay for sin was that He could afford to. And it seemed to me to be because He "[had] life in Himself". So He could give what no one else could give for our sin. But as the Life that is in Him could never be exhausted, He could not be consumed by the Judgment for sin. Any other person would have been but He wasn't. So although He suffered in every detail everything that sin was due, such suffering could not overwhelm Him.

I considered also that since treason against God is essentially measured according to Who and What God is rather than by who and what the rebel is, it would be an attempt to rid the rebel of God in every way possible. That would be essentially an attempt upon God's Life even though it could never be a successful one. Justice would seem to me then to demand similar Life in exchange. And only He possesses such a Life.

I meant to ask you about it in my email but by the time I finished the writing and sent to you I was too tired to remember the question so I was hoping you would notice and correct me where necessary. So, is the reasoning sensible, Sir? I am aware and confident that His Eternal Life as God could never be consumed or even threatened and I thought that that was why He could actually take the punishment for all human sin.

Thank you very much, Sir, for the corrected translation. I hope very much that I will soon be able to do all that on my own.

I will forward the email exchange with him again right now.

Your student in the Lord Jesus Christ

Response #3:  

I found your exchange with our new friend on my Ichthys server. I tried to forward it to my main account where I receive all emails but it wouldn't forward manually either. So there's something about the multiple originations that must be triggering a spam defense or some such thing. Probably best then not to forward others. I'm happy to have the two of your connect! Everything you wrote to him was wonderful, my friend.

I understand your reasoning (Jn.1:4; 5:26). I'm reluctant to teach anything that stands on reason alone, even if it sounds reasonable. I would need a scriptural justification. Isaiah 53:12 NIV does say that He "poured out His life unto death", but that is 1) metaphorical (as I understand it, for intensity of death), and 2) 'arah really doesn't mean "pour out" in the English sense (see BDB and other lexicons); so I would want a more detailed treatment before I bought into that particular way of explaining things. Our Lord "bore our sins in His body", which I take quite literally, the transfer of sins symbolically to the head of the animal being slaughtered in the Law being the picture here, with the slaughter and the burning representing the pain of judgment inflicted on our Lord with the placing on/in His body of every individual sin. There is much we do not understand about all this – but we do know it was the greatest imaginable event to an infinite degree.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend, day by day.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #4:

Dear Teacher

Okay, Sir. I think I'll just make our future exchanges into Word documents and send to you. I do want you to see what I am saying in case I need correcting in anything.

If I changed "poured out" to "laid down" in the teaching, would it reflect the Scriptural position more closely? I am not sure that it is literal either but the main point that I was trying to make is that it was because the Lord Jesus was also God that He could pay the price for sin. If He had only been a perfect man (an impossibility, I think), He would have still not been able to die for all sin. But maybe it is the fact that He was also God that made Him perfect so that being perfect was really what mattered? I'm not sure if I am reading it all right.

Thank you very much, Sir, for your much cherished prayers. Continuing to pray for you as well.

Your student in the precious Lord Jesus Christ

Response #4: 

Sounds good.

The thing that struck me as problematic was the distinction between "life" in this context where we understand it to mean dying (granted, spiritual vs. physical death) and "eternal life". I'm not sure what that would mean. I "have" a pair of binoculars; I also "have" eternal life -- but it's not the same since the former is an object which can be picked up and laid down but not the latter, not literally. The Lord does say, "The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again" (Jn.10:17 NIV), but He doesn't say "eternal life", just life . . . probably because He's referring to His physical death that would follow His spiritual death -- for it was that life-in-the-body that He "took up again" at the resurrection. Doing so of course entailed His spiritual death, being judged for all sin before doing do.

You might want to study "The Spiritual Death of Christ" in BB 4A (link).

You're very welcome, my friend! Thanks for your prayer too.

When are you moving? Keeping you in prayer for that as well.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #5: 

Dear Teacher

Regarding our discussion, it is why I have taken time to respond. I have been thinking about it and I wanted to read the portion on the Lord's Sacrifice for us in "Bible Basics: Christology". Please forgive me if I am importuning you about this. I am not looking to persuade you about it, only to be sure about what I am teaching so that I will put to rest in myself once and for all the matter for the sake of my hearers. These are some quotes from that study that capture my thinking on the matter:

"...there in the darkness on the cross that He was “cursed”, made sin, a curse for us, forsaken for us, separated from the love of the Father and made to undergo His wrath in our place..."

"He paid the penalty charged to our account, a death of suffering in alienation from God so intense that Isaiah, writing under the inspiration of the Spirit, because He had nothing else to call it, called it “deaths” instead of death (Is.53:9), pluralizing the experience to express in some small way just what the Messiah would have to suffer for us to be saved."

The latter in particular explains what I meant.

I know that the Bible never calls it eternal Death and that the term far more easily calls to mind sentencing to the Lake of Fire without respite for all eternity. But, Sir, how would we describe it if what should last forever is compressed into three temporal hours for Someone Who uniquely possesses the capacity to experience it fully? That is what I think Isaiah meant when he said "deaths" instead of "death". Just like you said, it was the intensity of it that he spoke of. I also wonder if it was not additionally an inspired way to point to the fact that Jesus died more than one death, that is, He died a physical AND a spiritual death.

What I was looking to capture was the understanding that our Lord Jesus gave up what as the Son of God and as a Human Who had pleased God completely He had every right to: His perfect fellowship with the Father along with all the joys and pleasures that come with it. That is what we expect to gain in our bodies at the Resurrection. That is Eternal Life, isn't it, Sir?

My thinking is that this is what God granted to dwell in Christ in His Humanity because He was Perfect in every way. I thought of His laying it down only as His willing subjection of Himself to separation from the Father; His suffering in the darkness; and the fire. The sense in which it was eternal is not in length of time but in quality, just as you said "intensity". If He possessed the capacity to taste death for everyone, would that not mean that He did not need to suffer "eternally" in terms of time but He certainly could fully experience son's punishment without being consumed by it?

That was what I was looking to capture. Spiritual death, I learned from you, refers to alienation from God. And we are all born spiritually dead. But the darkness and the fire are not part of our experience. Those are additional components that we find in the Second Death which seems very similar indeed to what the Lord Jesus suffered for those three hours on the Cross. So, I was thinking that it was that Death that our Lord tasted, not just the separation of spiritual death. For the rest of us, there can be no respite eternally if we suffered it. It would consume us. But the Lord could fully suffer it and still not be consumed by it so He did not need to suffer it eternally. But that does not mean that it was easy or not so costly for Him. It only means that He could pay a price none of us could ever pay without being completely exhausted by it.

Finally, I also thought that the significance of the statement that God granted the Son to have Life in Himself had to refer to His Humanity possessing Eternal Life which would be very unique. And if Eternal Life is perfect fellowship with God with all the joys attendant with no risk of loss ever, not only would it explain the Peace in which the Lord Jesus negotiated His Trials in this Life, it would also make sense that no one could take it from Him but that He had to willingly give up that fellowship with its incredible benefits even if only for three hours to suffer its opposite so that sinners could be saved. Clearly, He retook it after paying the full price for sin.

I really didn't imagine it to mean anything else. My concern in using the term was just to bring out the idea that what Jesus did for us was something only God-putting-on-Humanity could do. The price of sin is too high for even a righteous man - even if such a man were possible - to pay. But God can if He had a human body to pay it in.

I was also wondering if Col 1:19 might have a place in the discussion of the Sacrifice of our Lord.

In my thinking, it could parallel John 5:26. It seems to me that if this was granted to be in His Body, then the judgment upon sin in that Body might entail His willing laying down of all those privileges to suffer everything that is due to the sinner. Is that correct, Sir?

About moving, it is still hard to say. I'm trying to get the land sold but that is still taking time. I haven't got the stipend for this month either so even any idea to just go first and see what happens is not feasible.

I am attaching my new writing. It is just an overview for a new series. Please let me know what you think, Sir.

Also, how should we use the original manuscripts? Is there any perfect exemplar of the Scripture? Or are the manuscripts, like the Masoretic Text and the Sinaiticus, only the best preservations of the original texts? I want to know how to answer those who attack the Bible claiming that it is completely different from what was originally written (e.g. atheists) and those who attack the Masoretic Text in favor of the Septuagint (e.g. Roman Catholics). I also want to know for when I begin to study the original manuscripts.

Nine days from now will be my 33rd birthday. I typically don't celebrate my birthday (not because I think I shouldn't. Life has just been really hard) and, in fact, never share it with anyone except those closest to me. But you are one of the very closest now and you might want to know.

I saw our friends update. Any more news of him?

Response #5:  

Good to hear from you my friend. And happy birthday in advance, my friend! 33 doesn't seem that long ago for me – but it was LONG ago.

On our other friend, I copied you on the last email he sent me. If you didn't receive it, he seems to be hanging in their with his health, managing not only to keep up his business but also held a church service yesterday and plans to be keeping it up. It's on Facebook (not sure about the exact location; I'm not much of an FB user).

Thanks for your updates. I'm keeping you and your fiancee and your family in my prayers every day.

On your attachment, it's a wonderful start!

You've covered a lot of ground in these emails, so apologies in advance if I miss something. Saturdays are posting days, so things that come in Friday after COB usually have to wait until Sunday night.

On manuscripts, that is a large topic. The Masoretic Text for the Hebrew in any Hebrew Bible you would be able to get or have is a very solid text (the Greek LXX translation of it is just that, and not a particularly good or consistent one – I've found it of very little help over the years in terms of OT text-criticism or interpretation); of course like the Greek text of any particular manuscript the MT is not 100% homogeneous; the Greek text printed in any critical edition is also going to be generally well-done. That doesn't mean that there aren't mistakes (as you have read on Ichthys about particular ones), but it is important to keep the issue in perspective. Unbelievers and skeptics make it out to be a big deal when in reality we are talking about a 1% issue, and really much less than that in terms of things that "move the needle". AND with the resources available today it's possible for a man with proper preparation in the languages who also understands the truth of scripture to figure out that fractional percentage. Sinaiticus is a wonderful ms. but not perfect. Vaticanus is also good but less good than Aleph. Both are available online for free perusal. There are other good ones as well, but as I often say textual criticism is as much of an art as it is a science and one learns by doing. Some good places to start at Ichthys:

Text and Canon

Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations X

Biblical Languages, Texts and Translations IX

The Greek Text of the New Testament and some Issues of Textual Criticism.

On our Lord's sacrifice, there is much we would like to know that the scripture does not elaborate about. I don't think we can call it a physical death because the Bible is quite clear that our Lord was still physically alive after taking away the sins of the world and that He exhaled His spirit to end His life. Also, mistaking this point is at the root of much heresy – as in assuming that the literal, physical blood of Christ is what scripture is speaking of when nothing could be further from the truth. See "The Blood of Christ" in BB 4A (link).

In terms of "eternal", in English that word can't be divorced from its temporal essence. We would need a different word, otherwise we are going to confuse people by defining a word in a way no one else uses it. Another complication here is the supposed biblical antecedent. What is it, exactly? The Bible speaks of eternal life, but not of eternal death (not that I recall; did you have a passage in mind?).

On eternal life, here I have similar issues. Eternal life means life that last forever. We "have it" in the same way we have God's righteousness, the righteousness which is from faith, not works. It is a mistake, I think, to see either of these things as a commodity or a particular "thing" that can be picked up and put into a person or taken out. These are rather promises of God and representations of the way God looks at us now that we are in His family as believers in and followers of His Son. Seeing it the other way is incorrect, in my view, and problematic too, because it invites a sort of speculative theologizing which inevitably runs into trouble and contradiction of the truth. I think it is important for all prospective pastors to be careful to avoid this trap. The Bible has to point directly to something for it to be important. Sometimes a certain amount of deduction is necessary in explaining and teaching the Bible, but there is a standard by which to measure it, and that standard is a complete harmonizing with things that are said directly. It's not an easy thing to explain and an even harder thing to get right. You are VERY good at this – I've told you before that I've personally benefitted from many of your observations which "filled in" just the right next step. So for that reason I think it's doubly important for you to be very careful on this point. Rash theologizing often builds one questionable principle on another and is capable of creating almost any edifice if those "principles" are not directly stated in the Bible but are treated as truths unto themselves and used to create new ones. That is the method we must avoid.

On Colossians 1:19, I understand this verse as referring to the Son as a Person, not restricted to His human nature: He fills the world (in contrast to Gnostic concepts of "fullness").

I'm very pleased to know you, my friend, and I am confident that the Lord has a very important ministry for you. Keep progressing the way you gotten to where you are, fighting the fight day by day, and He will bring it to pass.

Your friend forever in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #6: 

Professor, I used 2 Corinthians 5:7 as a reference there and I thought that I understood this verse, but when I looked at your translation of it, I became uncertain about it.

NASB translates "for we walk by faith, not by sight" and this is what I thought the verse means - that our Christian walk is based on what we believe in rather than what we perceive with our senses. However, since you translated ειδος as "appearance", I'm not sure if my understanding is correct. Also, let me know how specifically we should understand the διὰ plus genitive here - should it be "by the means of"?

Response #6: 

On your question, here is my translation:

For we are walking [our Christian walk] through faith [in the Living and written Word], not through appearance (eidos).
2nd Corinthians 5:7

The issue is whether eidos relates to the initial impression or the processing of the information. Faith is a way we process things too, just as vision is. The point of the verse is that we know certain things are true because we believe them, even though they may appear to us to be otherwise. A more expansive translation the way I understand the verse might be something like: "We walk by what we know to be true through faith rather than what appears to our eyes to be the case". The traditional translation is not bad, but I felt it needed a little bump in order for people to get the true gist, because "faith" is often misunderstood and at least in our language has become a bit of a "buzz word". Hope this clarifies – do feel free to write back about it.

Your friend in Jesus Christ whom we love more than life itself.

Bob L.

Question #7: 

Isaiah 52:5(NASB)
5 Now therefore, what do I have here,” declares the Lord, “seeing that My people have been taken away without cause?” Again the Lord declares, “Those who rule over them howl, and My name is continually blasphemed all day long.

NIV SB: 52:5 Quoted in part in Ro 2:24.

Romans 2:24 (NASB)
24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.

Could you explain Paul's quotation of Isaiah 52:5 in Romans? It seems that in Isaiah Babylonians' cursing is in view, as they don't know God, but in Romans Paul means that Israel's hypocrisy is what causes God's name to be blasphemed? Is the parallel that in both cases God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, in the original passage because of their captivity and here because of their conduct?

Update: Perhaps the link that we can establish between the original verse and the quotation by Paul is that in both cases it is the disobedience of the Jews that is the original cause of God’s name being blasphemed – as it is their disobedience through which they were exiled.

Response #7:  

Update is good, but Paul is speaking of contemporary non-believing Jews who "follow the Law" but only as they have redefined it, doing things (listed) which are actually wrong and give the Lord a bad name in the eyes of those who are led to believe that such individuals are doing as instructed by God when indeed they are not.

Question #8: 

Yes, I understood Paul's point, but I just wanted to find out how it should be linked with the original passage in Isaiah 52:5. The disobedience of the Jews is best that I could come up with, as Paul's thought and Isaiah 52:5 are not exactly identical in their thrust.

Response #8: 

That is common in NT quotations of the OT because of the different purpose of the NT writer; but the scripture quoted is true in either regard in such cases – as in our recent discussion of Ephesians 4:8 "gave gifts" versus Psalm 68:18 "received gifts", with the NT focusing on the redistribution of the gifts which had been received.

Question #9: 

You wrote: "[Isaiah 53:4] Refers to the Lord bearing our sins which are symbolized by disease for obvious reasons, also in the gospels. K&D are very good at making distinctions where there is no difference. Disease and sin are one and the same, symbolically. Clearly, He was not afflicted with disease: He bore our sins."

I think I understand it in exactly the same way, but I have included the notes by both K&D and Unger for two main reasons: a) While the disease is a result of sin - the problem which our Lord has solved - some particular diseases of some particular individuals are not a direct result of their sin. b) The healing of diseases is meant to be a symbol of our Lord solving the underlying cause of the problem - which is sin. I think it's important for people to see it as a symbol of paying for humanity's sin, because many wrongly take Matthew 8:16-17 as a proof text of the health gospel.

Response #9:  

a) That is certainly true and made clear also in our Lord's ministry (Jn.9:2-3). But of course "all sin" (Rom.3:23) and no one is ever completely free of physical ailment, so the connection is a powerful symbol, even though as your rightly point out there is often no "cause and effect". The fact that people abuse a point of truth does not negate the point of truth, and we have to be careful about distinguishing the two. After all, in my view the origin of "once saved always saved" is an over-reaction to teaching that salvation can be easily lost through sinful behavior.

b) This is the way I understand it too, regardless of how the point is abused.

Question #10: 

Isaiah 53:9 (NASB)
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

Could you clarify the expression “because He had done no violence”? Is this given as a reason why our Lord was buried “with a rich man”?

Update: This is a somewhat difficult question. Some take the fact that our Lord was assigned a grace with the wicked and that he was with the rich man “in His deaths” as part of the bad treatment He received and this interpretation is then usually followed with “although he had done no violence”. NASB takes our Lord being “with the rich man” as a vindication and so then provides the reason for it – “because He had done no violence”.

NIV SB: the rich. Not as a burial with honor. The parallelism (with its effective wordplay in Hebrew) makes clear that Isaiah here associates the rich with the wicked, as do many OT writers—because they acquired their wealth by wicked means and/or trusted in their wealth rather than in God (see, e. g., Ps 37:16, 35; Pr 18:23; 28:6, 20; Jer 5:26–27; Mic 6:10, 12). According to the Gospels (Mt 27:57–60 and parallels), the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea gave Jesus an honorable burial by placing his body in his own tomb. But this was undoubtedly an act of love growing out of his awareness that he had been forgiven much (see Lk 7:47). Thus the fulfillment fitted but also transcended the prophecy.

Do you agree that the association of rich with the wicked is what Isaiah had in view here? Joseph of Arimathea was not wicked and despite giving consideration to this interpretation, Keil and Delitzsch settle for one which doesn’t consider the ideas of wickedness and riches as synonymous, but antithetical.

Response #10: 

The burial with the rich is a vindication and proof that the condemnation of our Lord was unjust (improper or shameful burial being a sign of just condemnation in the ancient world generally; cf. the fate of Jezebel).

Question #11: 

Hello Professor,

I've just arrived at home (safely, albeit I did resort to a coffee - thank you for your prayers).

What I meant was that if Paul mentions the twelve in 1st Corinthians 15:5, wouldn't the term "apostles" in verse 7 refer to the wider circle of disciples rather than specifically referring to the twelve? I wasn't sure what you meant by "the one doesn't rule the other".

In the grace of our Lord,

Response #11:  

I don't see this as a problem. What would we think Paul would have written here if he did in fact mean the eleven. Note that he says "the twelve" previously, though in fact at that moment there were only eleven. Most importantly, directly after 1st Corinthians 15:7, Paul says that he is "the least of the apostles" (1Cor.15:8-9) . . . meaning that he WAS / IS an apostle. That point might easily be confused if he had referred to the group with a number in this verse (whether eleven or twelve). Finally, I'm not sure at this early date there is any evidence of any small "A" apostles. This is a later development when the churches begin sending out missionaries and representatives.

Glad you got back safe!

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #12: 

As you know very well, Luke 1:41 is frequently used as a proof text for those who teach that life begins at conception.

Luke 1:41
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Luke 1:44
44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

You may be using this argument already, but it occurred to me that the fact that life begins at birth could be also supported specifically in John's case with Luke 1:15:

Luke 1:15
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother’s womb.

If John was to leap of his own accord when hearing Mary, this would clearly be supernatural - as a fetus is clearly unable to hear and comprehend what is being said. However, if it was to be supernatural, then the Holy Spirit would have to be involved in the event - but we know He wasn't, since John was to be filled only after being born - "ἐκ κοιλιας μητρὸς αὐτου". What do you think of this argument?

Response #12: 

Indeed, I've used just these arguments before (so we're seeing things the same exact way – which is always very encouraging; see the link: "Life begins at birth" [Q/A #2]).

Question #13: 

I'm again reading Luke 2:2 and I'm wondering whether your interpretation would not also work if we were to take αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ together as the subject - "this census occurred before Quirinius was the governor of Syria".

Response #13:  

It would, but the fly in the ointment there is that if the demonstrative pronoun went directly with the noun as a subject (as opposed to a predicate as I have translated it), then there would have to be a definite article present. There isn't. In poetry this rule is frequently violated, but not in prose.

Question #14:

What is your take on the date of Herod's death? I would think that with your proposed date of our Lord's crucifixion of 33 A.D., you would place Herod's death around 1 B.C. (rather than 4 B.C. as some scholars propose)?

Response #14: 

Here's my footnote on that in SR 5:

63. 2 B.C., as opposed to 1 B.C., is also required because of the need to place the birth of Christ before the death of Herod (cf. Matt.2:1-19). Although many have found such a late date for the death of Herod impossible, it is important to note that our only source for the earlier dating of his demise is Flavius Josephus, a somewhat dilettantish historian. Moreover, it is entirely possible that Josephus' statements in this regard have been wrongly interpreted in any case. See W.E. Filmer, "The Chronology of the Reign of Herod the Great", Journal of Theological Studies 17 (1966) 283-298, who proposes January of 1 B.C. as the time of Herod's death. This date leaves ample time for a December 2 B.C. birth of Christ, the events of Matthew 2:1-9, and the death of Herod immediately following.

Question #15: 

Well, I started the letter to the Hebrews in Greek now and I incidentally (or not?) read both Psalm 97 in my Hebrew Old Testament reading to day - and Hebrews 1:6. Since the question about the verse quoted in the Hebrews qualified as "burning", I thought I would attach it to this message.

Hebrews 1:6 (NASB)
6 And when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of God worship Him.”

Psalm 97:7 (NASB)
7 Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images,
Who boast themselves of idols;
Worship Him, all you gods.

At first I struggled to understand why the author of Hebrews quotes Psalm 97:7 here, as I assumed that our Lord’s incarnation is in view here, to which the Psalm does not refer. Now it is true that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the authors of the New Testament books can take the Old Testament scriptures and apply them in new contexts, but I must say that Meyer’s view has struck me as potentially providing a very good solution to this problem. He proposes that the author of the Hebrews does not refer to the incarnation, but “to the coming again of Christ to judgment, and the accomplishment of the Messianic kingdom” which would also perfectly harmonise this quotation with the original context of Psalm 97:7, which can be applied eschatologically to Christ's second advent. It would seem that the subjunctive in “ὅταν δὲ π λιν εἰσαγ γῃ τὸν πρωτ τοκον εἰς τὴν οἰκουμ νην” could also point in this direction. Meyer takes this subjunctive as an equivalent of a future tense and “π λιν” as not referring to another quotation being cited here, but to God brining His Firstborn again – an interpretation he defends based on the order of the Greek words. I know that there are errors in this commentary and some of them serious – but this particular interpretation really seemed convincing to me. What do you think?

Response #15:  

On the Hebrews passage, the Greek adverb palin, "again", makes it clear that Paul is speaking of the second rather that the first advent (to mean "next point" instead of "next time" it would have to be in a different place in terms of word order, preceding the explanation and probably with kai as in the previous verse).

Question #16: 

Some commentators interpret that the quotation comes from the Septuagint text of Deuteronomy 32:43 rather than Psalm 97:7, but it’s hard for me to see how a part of the verse that’s not in the original would be quoted, as the quoted LXX portion of the verse is not in the Masoretic text.

NIV SB also takes the quotation as coming from Deuteronomy.

Response #16: 

The quote is from Psalm 97:7 (not Deut.32:43 where the LXX is very confused), and that Psalm is a second advent psalm as is clear from the very first verse. The fact that Paul quotes the LXX exactly makes this all very clear. As to NIV SB, that is a verse reference they give for the quote, but I see that in the notes (done by either Philip E. Hughes or Donald W. Burdick), it says "possibly quoted from Psalm 97:7, but see NIV text note". Reading between the lines, they did not wish to contradict the NIV text notes (the Study Bible "received" the NIV with its notes just as the translators of the KJV "received" the textus receptus, and were not authorized to change it).

Question #17: 

Some good points made also by Expositor here with regard to our Lord coming to take His inheritance: This throws light not only on εἰσαγ. but also on πρωτότοκον and οἰκουμένην, and confirms the interpretation of the clause as referring to the induction of the first-born into His inheritance, the world of men. πρωτότ. is used of Christ (1) in relation to the other children of Mary (Luke 2:7; Matthew 1:25); (2) in relation to other men (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:18); (3) in relation to creation (Colossians 1:15). Nowhere else in N.T. is it used absolutely; but cf. Psalm 89:27. “I will make him first-born,” i.e., superior in dignity and closer in intimacy. λέγει, the present is used because the words recorded in Scripture and still unfulfilled are meant.

Response #17:  

I don't understand Pulpit's point (in light of Col.1:15; 1:18; Rev.1:5), but the verse most definitely demonstrates Christ's superiority to angels, and so linking "first born" to it makes the title clear as to its implications of THE Son of Man / THE Son of God being supreme within the creation He created at the Father's will and died for on Calvary (just as in Col.1:15; 1:18; Rev.1:5).

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #18: 

Dear Dr. Luginbill,

When Jesus was crucified and then rose from the dead, the Bible states that he went to Hades and preached to fallen angels that were imprisoned there (1 Peter 3:19-19). Ephesian 4:7-10 reads, “When he ascended to the heights, he led a crowd of captives and gave gifts to his people.” Notice that it says, “he ascended.” This means that Christ also descended to our lowly world and the same one who descended is the one who ascended into the third heaven.

Recently while reading the book of Psalms, in chapter 68 and verse 18 which reads, “You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men….” I noticed the similarity to Ephesians 4:8 (“When he ascended on high, he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men”).

It seems to me that the similarity was put in the Bible for a reason although after reading several commentaries I cannot find a Bible scholar that mentions the similarity.

My question is, do you believe there is a similarity between these two passages of scripture and is there a deeper meaning than I have found?

You brother in Christ,

Response #18: 

Good to hear from you.

Indeed! This is a deliberate quotation / paraphrase.

This is all written up at the link in BB 4A: "The Transfer of Believers from the Subterranean Paradise to the Third Heaven". And here is another link where some aspects of this issue are discussed: "Captivity led captive verses".

Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Bob L.

Question #19: 

Dear Teacher

How have you been, Sir?

As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
Galatians 5:12 NIV

How do you read Galatians 5:12, Sir? Is Paul speaking of emasculation there or of cutting off from fellowship? I find I have no problem with his meaning the former, but I'm wondering if I am wrong in thinking that it is what he did mean. Might he have been referring to the latter instead?

Your student in our Lord Jesus

Response #19:  

I'm doing well, my friend. My health is pretty good at the moment, and I'm making some progress on BB 6B ([now posted] although the summer is running out faster that I could wish). We're in a bit of a heat wave here; hoping for a little thunderstorm this afternoon as the plants are wilting.

On Galatians 5:12, it is indeed the former – though this is a bit of sanctified sarcasm. These legalists wouldn't listen to Paul regarding anything and would certainly not do this. He's making the point vividly that their position is nothing to do with the truth.

I hope you and fiancée and your families are doing well. I keep you all in my prayers daily, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #20: 

Dear Professor

Having read your explanations from scriptures on the above topic it seems to me the most logical straight forward way to interpret the subject.

As I like to share my new found understanding, your scriptures quoted reinforces what we stumbled upon in our search. And your MUCH more additional information and scripture references. And, I had previously also read it somewhere on your site.

I have been sharing my new found insights from your site with my good friend. From his reply, it seems we are not talking about the same topic.

He was emphasising love of God over MERE knowledge which puffs up. 1 Corinthians 8:1.
I said it means both or how else is one to teach or know the truth. They know I take my learning from your site. (I reference it in my comments at times)

I want to please God in my efforts while being careful not to get puffed up OR overly concessive.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior.

Your student

Response #20: 

Always appreciate your updates and kind words, my friend.

On 1 Corinthians 8:1, the context is that of the arrogant Corinthians using their "knowledge" to do wrong things. Paul deliberately is deliberately contrasting potentially worthless knowledge "gnosis" with the "epignosis" to which should all aspire – the latter being the "full" knowledge which is truth believed in our hearts and thus usable and used by the Holy Spirit.

Incidentally, what Paul is teaching them in this passage is truth, so this passage can't be made to mean that hearing and learning truth is unimportant, just the opposite. People who quote it that way, to deflect those telling them something true, are the very ones Paul is referring to in being puffed up by mere such "knowledge". Knowing a scripture – like this one – and then misapplying it – like in your example – is precisely what Paul is referring to and telling us to avoid.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus,

Question #21: 

Quick ? Dr,

In the John, Q/A, on John 1:33, you mention in the 2nd to last sentence. "The Spirit is the One who provides the empowerment for all of this, at the new birth (Jn 3:5-8), in our spiritual growth (Gal 5:16-18) and at the resurrection (Rom 8:11)."

In Rom 8:11 isn't relegated to our current walk. V.10 talks about our current walk and v.11 talks about how the Spirit quickens our mortal flesh so we no longer walk in the flesh. This is more in line with Gal 5:16-18, in my analysis and the resurrection piece the verses in 1 Cor 1:35-38 and 2 Cor 5:15 is more applicable to the Spirit's work at the resurrection.

Am I correct in my analysis?

Thank you

Response #21:  

The quote you provide is explaining the Spirit's role in all three phases of biblical sanctification: 1) positional (we are sanctified or made holy by our position in Christ at the new birth), 2) experiential (we grow closer to God and farther from the world as we grow spiritually through the Spirit's empowerment of our efforts herein), and 3) ultimate (which happens when we are fully and completely blameless forever in our resurrection bodies).

As to the passage provided as support for the last of these (Rom 8:11), it seems to me that this verse does comport well to focusing us on the perfection we can look forward to at the resurrection, our ultimate sanctification when we will be perfectly holy in our resurrection bodies:

(10) And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (11) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:10-11 NKJV

Romans 8:10 is talking our positional sanctification; Romans 8:11 is talking about ultimate sanctification.  Paul begins by applying these two truths in encouraging us to push forward with experiential sanctification – a holy walk here and now – in the verses that follow in this chapter. It strikes me as a very effective technique to tell your listeners that they were made holy in principle at salvation and will be completely holy in fact at resurrection, so they ought to make every effort to walk in a holy way in between. The spiritual growth required to do so is, after all, the basis for all progress in the Christian life and all future rewards.

One way to think about experiential sanctification, the holiness we are to pursue in this life (Heb.12:14), is that it is essentially choosing sides; if we do not chose to be holy and do what is holy, we are basically choosing sin instead and essentially benefiting the opposing team. Not much help to/for our own team when we act that way!

Keeping you and your family in my prayers daily.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #22: 

Hi Bob,

I'm helping some relatives understand the "from glory to glory" bit of 2 Corinthians 3:18, and wanted to ask about καθαπερ. I haven't run into this word before (that I can recall), and I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how it is being used here. Here's what I have so far:


This section makes little sense without all the context, and without doing some explaining. Here's a more literal translation to start (this is me translating from the Greek):

(18) And all of us, if we reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled countenance, are being transformed into the same image [of God] from glory to glory, exactly as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2nd Corinthians 3:18

If we reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled countenance - that is, if we live lives in such a way that the glory of the Lord is reflected through us without obstruction. The metaphor is essentially representing the glory of the Lord as light, and Christians as mirrors. If, for example, we give a bad witness, or get distracted by the world, or give in to wanton sin, we "put a veil" over our reflection of the Lord's glory. The "if..." part of the sentence is coming from a participle in Greek.

from glory to glory - The Greek behind this phrase (apo doxes eis doxan) is actually an idiom meaning something along the lines of "in ever increasing glory."

exactly as by the spirit of the Lord - an emphatic way of saying that the transformation is happening through the Spirit rather than being of ourselves.


So now, using this knowledge to translate in a way that makes the sense clearer:

(18) And all of us, if we reflect the glory of the Lord with unveiled countenance (i.e., if we are are "being good mirrors" of Christ), are being transformed into the same image [of God] in ever increasing glory (i.e., are reflecting God's glory more and more), exactly as by the spirit of the Lord.

One of my mentors translates the verse in the following way:

(18) And everyone of us, if we reflect the Lord's glory with no "veil" obscuring our faces (i.e., with unsullied Christian witness), is being transformed into the same image [of God] (i.e., become more Christ-like as we use our will to respond to Him) so as to reflect an ever greater degree of [God's] glory [as we do so] (lit., "from glory to glory") – exactly what is to be expected with the Lord's Spirit as the agent [of our transformation].
2nd Corinthians 3:18


Taking καθαπερ ἀπὸ κυριου πνευματος as "exactly as by the Spirit of the Lord" -- what it seems to literally mean -- is confusing me. It isn't "just as if" our transformation in this verse is occurring mediated by the Spirit, it is occurring mediated by the Spirit, right? So what's the best way to understand the "as" part of the meaning?

In Christ,

Response #22: 

Here is my translation of this difficult passage (with expansions):

(17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord's Spirit is, there is freedom. (18) And everyone of us, if we reflect the Lord's glory with no "veil" obscuring our faces (i.e., with unsullied Christian witness), is being transformed into the same image [of God] (i.e., become more Christ-like as we use our will to respond to Him) so as to reflect an ever greater degree of [God's] glory [as we do so] (lit., "from glory to glory") – exactly what is to be expected with the Lord's Spirit as the agent [of our transformation].
2nd Corinthians 3:17-18

The phrase "from glory to glory" is paralleled by Romans 1:17 "from faith to faith". In both cases we have the positional status of the believer side by side with the growing experiential state. We believe, then we grow in faith; we share the Lord's glory as being one with Him at salvation, but we then seek to grow and hence to glorify Him. So we go from initial faith to greater faith as we grow (like the mustard seed grows into a tree ideally), and we go from initial glory (being won to the Lord) to every greater glorification of Him as we reflect Him more and more in our spiritual growth (letting that light shine ever more gloriously).

So I agree with all of your analysis – good job here!

As to καθαπερ, it's not conditional. The περ merely intensifies the καθα, so that the compound καθαπερ is a synonym for ὥσπερ (Paul uses both adverbs with about the same frequency). καθαπερ is often combined with εἰ in Classical Greek (maybe that's what you're thinking of).

Hope you'll be able to get a little rest, now that you've won this latest battle.

Keeping you in my prayers, my friend.

In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #23: 

Hi Bob,

Let me try to word my question a bit differently. I understand that καθ περ is similar in meaning to ὥσπερ. I'm having a hard time understanding how the word is being used here. The meaning of the last of bit verse must be that our transformation in reflecting more and more of God's glory comes from the Spirit -- ἀπὸ being used with a sense of origin.

Here's where I'm getting hung up. Someone might say something like "the snow moved in, just as (καθαπερ / ὥσπερ) from the North Pole." We would understand that the snow might not actually be coming from the North Pole. If what is being said said is that the snow moving in is actually from the North Pole, then I don't understand why (at least in English) we would use the phrase "just as."

So here, it would seem more natural to translate as "we are being transformed into the same image [of God] in ever increasing glory, [this transformation coming] from the spirit of the Lord." But this leaves out καθαπερ. I don't understand why it would be "just as from the Spirit of the Lord." To me, that doesn't sound like the transformation is clearly/manifestly/{intensifying adjective} from the Spirit of the Lord, but that the transformation is like/as it were from the Spirit of the Lord, but it is not in reality.

Do you see what is causing me confusion (even if perhaps the confusion is unmerited)?

In Him,

Response #23:  

Let me expand your example:

The snow moved in, just as if it were from the North Pole (= καθαπερ εἰ).

The snow moved in, just as it previously did from the North Pole (= καθαπερ).

Without the conditional, the comparison is exact, as in "just like I told you"; whereas to be hypothetical or conditional we would need the εἰ, as in "just as if I had told you".

I think the problem is that Paul is being a bit brachylogical here and doesn't use the full expression (i.e., leaving out the "it previously did" in the second snow example above), but that is what he means (otherwise he would have said it with εἰ).

So the Spirit's ministry is a reality; and thus the transformation is a reality too – for all those who respond.

Hope this helps!

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #24:

Hi Bob,

Is this comment about the Spirit thus tied with verse 17? So we would have "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord's Spirit is, there is freedom. And we are being transformed... just as [we are transformed] by the Spirit?" That is, we are transformed from the moment of salvation throughout our lives, reflecting God's glory to an ever greater degree, just like how we are transformed by the Spirit?

This makes a lot more sense if it is what it means. I had been thinking that this last part about the Spirit was conveying the information that this transformation from glory to glory was occurring through the Spirit, rather than occurring just like how we are transformed by the Spirit.

The niggling detail though is that our transformation into the image of God is the transformation by the Spirit -- they seem to me to one and the same thing. So why would Paul draw a comparison between them?

In Him,

Response #24: 

That's essentially the way I understand it. The final comment is to bring the Spirit back into things for emphasis, which is why I translate this way:

(17) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord's Spirit is, there is freedom. (18) And everyone of us, if we reflect the Lord's glory with no "veil" obscuring our faces (i.e., with unsullied Christian witness), is being transformed into the same image [of God] (i.e., become more Christ-like as we use our will to respond to Him) so as to reflect an ever greater degree of [God's] glory [as we do so] (lit., "from glory to glory") – exactly what is to be expected with the Lord's Spirit as the agent [of our transformation].
2nd Corinthians 3:17-18

. . . where "exactly what is to be expected with the Lord's Spirit [actually] as the agent [of our transformation]" is the translation of your problematic phrase, καθαπερ ἀπὸ κυριου πνευματος.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #25: 

Hello again Dr. Luginbill,

I have been teaching one student on the Book of James for nine months and came upon the referenced passage, James 4:4-6.

It seems that according to the translation, one could draw two conclusions from the text meaning, that it is either speaking of the human spirit which God did make, or it could be speaking of the Holy Spirit. Which one is not clear to me.

One translation I found is as follows:

"Do you think that the Scripture speaks in vain, or without a good reason, when it condemns such a worldly temper? No; that you cannot suppose. Do you imagine that the Spirit of God, which dwelleth in us Christians, leads to covetousness, pride, envy? No. On the contrary, to such as follow his guidance and direction, he gives more abundant grace and favor.

In my thinking, the "Spirit of God" could be either the Holy Spirit or the human spirit "which He has made to dwell in us"?

I cannot determine from the context which particular verbiage is correct.

I need your insight again.

What does the Greek say?

Thanks so much my friend,

Response #25:  

This is a badly misunderstood issue which the versions and commentators universally get wrong:

(4) You adulteresses (i.e., immoral people of both sexes)! Do you not know that friendship with the world is inimical to God? Therefore whoever wants to be a friend of the world establishes himself as an enemy of God. (5) Or do you assume that the Scripture (i.e., Gal.5:17) says to no purpose "The Spirit" which dwells in you "sets its desire against" [such] envy [emanating from the sin nature, a situation rampant among you (as is evident from the examples given in verses 1-4)]? (6) But [God] "gives grace [which is] greater" [than all these temptations] (i.e., in the provision of the Spirit which resists the flesh). That is why it says, "God opposes the arrogant, but He gives grace to the humble".
James 4:4-6

The key here is that James is quoting Paul (Gal.5:17).

This is written up in detail at the link: "Explaining James 4:5"

Hope this helps.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #26: 

Dear Bob,

Sorry to bother you again. I've hit a snag.

In general I like the NIV. It sometimes puts a slant on a familiar passage I've not considered before. However, In Mark 7:19 I read "... (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)" That is not a part of the KJV at all and, quite frankly, isn't supported, on the surface, by Christ's comments. Is this a gloss?

While I believe it to be true given Peter's vision in Acts and Christ's comments, and I see how it would lead one to see that, the discrepancy between the translations is concerning, It seems like an addition.

There are other parenthetical additions to Mark that concerns me, but this one is the most glaring to me since this is a verse I've considered over a long time. What's in the original Greek?


Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #26: 

This is part of the verse is in all the major ms. It's also right there in the KJV too:

Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
Mark 7:19 KJV

The Greek is not at issue. How to translate and interpret the Greek is (for some) an issue. In a few inferior ms. the participle, "purging" (KJV) is neuter making the purging agree with "it" (what is eaten); however, the vast preponderance of the evidence has the participle as nominative, agreeing with the Lord, yielding the meaning that our Lord was the One doing the purging. That is surely correct. The difference in Greek is between a short "o" and a long "o" (omicron vs. omega). These sounded very much alike especially in the Byzantine times, so the mistake is understandable. KJV was translated before most of the older and more reliable mss. were discovered so that the TR 'edition' of Greek on which it was based has many such small errors (some bigger ones too, as in including the longer ending of Mark 16). I checked fourteen other versions on this verse and they ALL have the correct rendering, even the Vulgate, except for the new KJV (NKJV) which is deliberately phrased to be ambiguous. NASB is representative:

"because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
Mark 7:19 NASB

So this is not an NIV "problem" at all but a KJV problem. Incidentally, the 1984 NIV is the one I recommend. It's hard to find inasmuch as the NIV people don't let on that the present edition is substantially changed from the one put out in 1984.

In Jesus,

Bob L.

Question #27: 

Dear Bob,

Thank you so much for your explanation. All these years, I didn't have "ears to hear." I understood it as a description of a mechanical function. You have shed light on what I didn't realize was dark.

Up until you recommended the NIV (84,) all I had was the KJV. All supporting materials are based on the KJV so it seemed reasonable. I didn't realize what I was missing. Thank you.

I need to get a copy of the NIV for my grandkids. They're beginning to read the Bible and the NIV would be much easier for them. I like Elizabethan English and am used to it but it's a struggle for the boys.

Thanks again for the explanation and your patience.

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #27:  

You're most welcome.

Write any time, my friend.

In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

Question #28: 

Hello Bob my dear friend.

I am now reading the New Testament alongside the Old. I have finished the Gospel of Matthew and am now reading Mark.

Why is it that Jesus tells some people not to broadcast their miracle/ healing and yet to "Legion" He says to tell everyone? I read one comment online was that the man who formally had "Legion" would be the only witness/disciple of Jesus as He was asked to leave the place whereas everywhere else there were too many crowds. Do you understand this to be the reason?

I was reading about the "Messianic Secret" motif theory on Wikipedia. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messianic_Secret

What are your feelings on this matter? What do you feel about this "Marcan priority".

Hope you are well my friend. Keeping you in my prayers.

In our Lord Jesus Christ,

Response #28: 

Great to hear from you!

On the Gadareene demoniac, as this unnamed individual is sometimes called, he was apparently a gentile from a gentile area. The reason that our Lord sometimes told individuals not to go into town or not to speak to anyone was to further His ministry and not hinder it. Celebrity is a sort of a curse, and it got to the point with our Lord even so (as people often did not honor His wishes) that He was unable even to enter town but had to reside in the wilderness (Mk.1:45). Our Lord worked miracles in support of the truth of His message; celebrity, the desire by many to "see something fun" (as in Herod's case), only hindered things.

On some "Messianic secret", our Lord gave the truth to those who were willing to accept the truth; to all others He spoke in parables; and His commands not to make this particular truth known was part and parcel of that approach, so that all would hear the truth, but those who rejected it and took offense at it would not be led to try and destroy Him before the time.

On "Marcan priority", that is a false theory. Matthew wrote first.

Hope you are doing well!

Thanks for your prayers – keeping you in mine as well.

In Jesus our dear Savior,

Bob L.

Question #29: 

Dear Professor

Certainly no rush to get this answered.

In 2 Timothy v 10; is Titus unto Dalmatia the same person as in the book of Titus and did he forsake Paul? It doesn’t seem right if it is. Is Crescens in the same camp as the forsakers?

Only when you get time. I appreciate your valuable time. Taken a fair bit of it lately.

More good news. My wife just came in saying that her mother in the Philippines with data on her phone is now able to tune into Curt Omo’s Bible Academy (my wife sent her the link). My wife likes to listen to Curt's videos. She is about to send her the Ichthys link as well though the usage cost may see her copy from my sister in law's USB and use that when she runs out of credit.

I am so grateful that you have provided so much in the name of our Lord. I am hoping that your writings will be re-recorded for the other extended families and on to theirs (some of them live in remote villages in the mountains)

I have been asked to give some numerical to support to a small congregation of about 10 in a nearby smaller town on Sunday. I always try to introduce your site and leave your business card. Curt’s Ministry gets a round about introduction when they visit your site. I may also directly introduce his site if I feel that is easier for them to learn that way.

I have text quite a few scriptures to the German backpacker, and by doing so it has forced me to search and learn myself. Perhaps only a couple more contacts before she moves on, so I am keen to see how she is taking it. She had so many questions and concerns. Being young and adventurous, she delights in the beauty of this creation and found it disconcerting that this creation would one day be no more. That is the beauty of the scriptures- we know what our Lord replaces it with will be perfect for us all.

I hope and pray things are/ will get back to “normal” for you shortly. With gratitude in my heart I thank you for all you share.

In our dear Savior Jesus Christ

Your student

Response #29:  

Great to hear from you as always.

On your question, yes, it's the same person. At 2nd Timothy 4:10, the sentence "Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia." is a new one not to be connected in meaning with what precedes; these men were dispatched to their locations by Paul; they did not abandon him. But they WERE gone, so this is part and parcel of his loneliness, some the result of desertion, some the result of sacrifice on behalf of the Church.

Thanks for the update, and for ALL your good efforts, my friend.

Yes indeed, the New Heavens and New Earth and New Jerusalem will be BETTER in every way than anything we see today. We are like children playing in the mud being dragged home to supper, little realizing that what awaits us when we grow up is so much better.

Your friend in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,

Bob L.

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